When you’re healthy and moving well, you may not give your joints much thought. Your shoulders and elbows lift and reach. Your hips swivel and sway. And your knees and ankles carry you up the stairs and down sidewalks.
But when arthritis, injury or another condition affects these important structures, you may find yourself limited. The activities you love grow difficult — from gardening to cradling a child to getting into the bath or shower.
We want you to know we’re here to support your healing and keep you safe. If you’re experiencing joint pain, our orthopedic specialists are here to offer solutions. While they often aim to use conservative treatment first, there are times when partial or full joint replacement is the best option.
When Joints Break Down
Normally, joints allow you to travel through your day with fluid motion. But wear and tear over years of use, injuries and diseases like osteoarthritis can increase pain, swelling and stiffness.
Conservative treatments your orthopedic specialist may before considering surgery include:
- Hot or cold therapy
- Braces, canes or other aids
- Physical therapy
- Medications and vitamin supplements
From there, your orthopedic specialist might recommend a minimally invasive procedure to realign your joints, fix them in place or reconstruct them.
But sometimes, these measures aren’t enough to get you moving freely again and your physician may recommend joint replacement surgery.
How Joint Replacement Surgery Works
With joint replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon removes a damaged joint and puts in a new one made of plastic, metal or ceramic parts. Hip and knee replacement surgeries are the most common, and other joint replacements include:
- Shoulder joint replacement
- Elbow joint replacement
- Ankle joint replacement
- Wrist replacement
During these procedures, you’ll typically come to the hospital and be given medicine so you don’t feel pain. Then, your orthopedic surgeon will replace your painful joint with a new, human-made one through a surgical procedure.
Then, you’ll begin your recovery with rehabilitation and physical therapy at home or in an outpatient clinic. Often, physical therapy will begin the day of your operation. Depending on your condition and procedure, with guidance, you might even move or begin exercising again the same day of your surgery.
How to Know When Joint Replacement is for You
Working closely with your health care team is the best way to know if joint replacement surgery is a solution for your joint pain. To assess your condition, your orthopedic specialist may first recommend a series of diagnostic tests or procedures to examine your joint health, including:
- Placing a small, lighted tube called an arthroscope into your joint
- Testing a small sample of your tissue
- Using X-ray or another technique to look at your joints
Your orthopedic specialist is there to answer all your questions about managing your pain and choosing a treatment plan. If your physician suggests joint replacement, it’s because they believe it will offer you the best chance to reduce your pain and increase your comfort and mobility.
Your medical team will work with you to schedule your surgery. In most cases, there’s no need to delay. In fact, waiting on surgery may prolong your pain and make everyday activities increasingly challenging.
Your Partners in Healing
Together, AdventHealth and Rothman Orthopaedics are transforming orthopedic care and recovery. With leading-edge treatments and next-day appointment options, you can find the world-class experience you deserve. If you’re experiencing joint pain, don’t suffer in silence any longer.
Learn more about our Orthopedic Care, our powerful partnership and how we can partner with you to restore your vibrant, active life.